Safety First in Your Garage
In your enthusiasm for remodeling your kitchen or bath, other less exciting spaces in your home may be ignored, even though they desperately need a make-over. A garage is one of those oft-neglected areas, because homeowners typically are not very concerned about the appearance or functionality of their garages. However, if you thoughtfully consider some of the items that you regularly deposit in your garage, you will realize the importance of having a plan for organizing and improving your garage as well.
- Hazardous chemicals–such as paint, automotive chemicals, herbicides and pesticides, propane tanks for gas grills. All chemicals should be stored in the original container, tightly sealed and locked in a strong overhead cabinet, so children and pets cannot come into contact with them. Propane tanks should never be stored in or near the garage where they are in close proximity to combustible materials.
- Sharp equipment–such as woodworking or gardening tools. Tools should be securely attached to a wall or stored in a closed cabinet. If left lying about, they could cause an injury if someone accidentally steps on them.
- Toys, sports equipment and camping supplies–such as balls, skateboards, bicycles and fishing rods. Store smaller toys in open wire baskets or bins at a level kids can easily reach. Bikes can be hung from wall or ceiling brackets. Items that are strewn on the garage floor pose a tripping hazard.
Garage storage systems offer many customizable options to help you organize all these items and more. For example, Organized Living’s freedomRail Garage system includes metal rails, brackets and uprights, along with sturdy Melamine GO-Boxes. Gladiator utilizes heavy-duty PVC GearTrack Channels and GearWall Panels to arrange a wide variety of storage accessories for the garage. These systems can also offer sturdy tables with casters, benches, wire baskets and other accessories. Garage storage systems assist you in making the best functional use of all available garage space, whether it consists of wall storage, elevated ceiling storage or a combination of both. Ceiling storage is perfect for seasonal items, such as decorations and camping supplies.
As you are remodeling your garage, also make plans to improve the lighting. Sufficient illumination is necessary for car maintenance tasks, and your work table needs to be well-lit for you to easily and safely complete your projects.
Overhead fluorescent fixtures have been the standard, but consider LED for safety (no mercury) and energy savings.
In addition, consider installing a new garage door with windows on top or retrofitting your existing door. This will allow the space to be flooded with natural light during the daytime. Finally, your garage may not have enough electrical outlets to meet your needs. Instead of winding an extension cord around the room, it is safer to install a few additional outlets.